South Whitehall commissioners have approved a project to examine options for enhancements to the public areas and visual character of the township.
Penn Praxis, an extension of the University of Pennsylvania design studio, will use architectural students to conduct an investigation of three sites and offer suggestions for improvements.
South Whitehall Director of Community Development George Kinney, reported at the board’s Feb. 7 meeting.
“It’s typically pretty good stuff that comes out of them,” Kinney said.
Under the direction of Alvin C. Thompson, the South Whitehall Tax Office has been moved from its Walbert Avenue site to 2227 Albright Ave., Greenawalds, but the office has an Allentown mailing address.
Thompson reported the building is handicapped accessible and has a large parking lot.
Tax payments may either be taken to the new office in person or sent through the mail.
The tax office is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
At a recent meeting, commissioners granted authorization to Thompson to appoint Sandra Dieter and Lynn-Anne Kocon as deputies.
The South Whitehall planning commission presided over a lengthy meeting at Orefield Middle School Feb. 25 concerning Ridge Farm, a Kay Builders undertaking of 741 housing units on 190 acres of land held by Jeras Corporation.
The project proposes development on the north and south sides of Huckleberry Ridge, and the east and west sides of Cedar Crest Boulevard, between Walbert Avenue and Huckleberry Road.
Thirty-five residents stepped forward at the recent South Whitehall planning commission meeting to express their feeling on the possible impact on their lives of the proposed Ridge Farm development.
The 741 housing units, showed in a slideshow by Kay Builders, the new community would occupy 190 acres of what is now open fields, woodland, and a few older homes.
While traffic issues were mentioned frequently, residents’ comments covered nearly every aspect relating to quality of life in the township.
The passing of former pastor, the Rev. Harry Kissinger, in December 2017, brought to mind some history of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Laurys Station.
The Rev. Kissinger began his ministry at St. John’s in 1961 when it was a union church with active Lutheran and Reformed congregations.
They worshipped on alternate Sundays, although many people attended every week, no matter which denomination was in charge that day.
Soon after the Rev. Kissinger’s arrival, people started talking about merging the two congregations.
South Whitehall commissioners have accepted and approved Jason M. Werley as a member of the special fire police for the Cetronia Fire Department.
He joins Bob Hines and Capt. William Kordilla on the team.
Kordilla said a state statute governs the requirements for special fire police training and prescribed what they may do.
He said an applicant must first be accepted by the fire department, then sworn in by a district judge, and finally read for acceptance at the board of commissioners.
For 67 years, the Parkland Trojan Alumni Varsity Club has worked to promote and encourage participation in extracurricular athletic activities in the school district.
President Ron Bealer reports the club provides educational scholarships for athletes, offers support for various school activities, advances social and physical improvement among students, and promotes camaraderie for all district athletes and friends.
Union United Church of Christ, Neffs, notes Lent starts on Valentine’s Day this year and ends with the Easter celebration on April Fool’s Day, April 1.
Before that spiritual journey begins, Union UCC will have a pancake, sausage, applesauce and fastnacht supper 6 p.m. Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 13.
The mealis free but donations will be accepted.
On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, worship services will be in the sanctuary with a quiet time for prayer, communion and ashes, noon to 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Parkland School Board has approved a resolution to increase taxes for the 2018-19 school year no higher than the 2.4 percent Act 1 Index calculated for the district by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Business Manager John Vignone said the department of education blends the statewide average weekly wage with the national employment cost index into a formula to derive a base index for each school district.
As Parkland is considered a wealthier school, its index is on the lowest tier. An economically challenged district would have a higher allowable index.
Salaries, at $81.4 million, are the largest item in the proposed $180.3 million Parkland School District budget.
Benefits are second at $52.7 million.
In a budget presentation at the Jan. 23 school board meeting, Business Manager John Vignone reported the amount for salaries was helped along by a $200,000 attrition savings.
As most retirements have been announced, Vignone could calculate how much the district is likely to save as new teachers at the lower end of the salary scale replace long-term, higher paid staff.